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MP puts rail operator on notice after crisis call

23rd December 2019

West Worcestershire MP Harriett Baldwin has warned the Birmingham commuter train operator to make dramatic service improvements following a series delays to local rush hour services.

Harriett spoke to West Midlands Trains’ managing director Jan Chaudhry-van der Velde to discuss recent issues which have caused cancelled and over-congested trains.

The MP has raised her concerns with the Department for Transport and has led the call for financial penalties if the company’s performance does not improve.

The company reduced capacity on the Hereford to Birmingham line during the summer and peak time commuters are still having to put up with crowded trains and cancelled services despite the company pledging to find extra carriages.

Harriett commented: “I’m afraid I have reached the end of my tether with West Midlands Trains and I have demanded that the management take urgent steps to dramatically improve both performance and capacity.

“I have raised the matter directly with the Department for Transport and I have asked for guidance about what may trigger financial penalties owing to poor performance.

“This is one of the biggest issues in my postbag at the moment and with fare increases planned to come in place in the next couple of weeks, rail users don’t feel like they are getting anything like value for money.

“The company won the franchise on the promise of extra capacity and more services but all is am seeing is these pledges slipping further and further. It is simply not acceptable and I expect the management team to do much better, quickly.”

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